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The Big Story That Made Headlines
The Congress played a “masterstroke” of sorts in Parliament by getting ex-PM Manmohan Singh (a renowned Economist) to expertly articulate their criticism of current PM Narendra Modi’s “masterstroke” demonetisation measure!
As you know, the Parliament meets thrice a year to conduct its business, debate on issues and pass Bills that become laws.
In the current Winter session of the Parliament, Members of opposition parties unanimously asked for all other agenda items to be cancelled and replaced only with discussions on the Prime Minister’s demonetisation initiative.
However, the 1st week mostly went by with protests with being staged and the House being adjourned for almost 3 days. The protesting MPs were demanding that Mr Modi attend Parliament to listen to the opposition’s views and personally give a statement explaining why the demonetisation was “poorly” planned. 200 MPs, led by Congress VP Rahul Gandhi, stood in a single line outside the Parliament House (symbolising the ATM queues), to highlight the inconvenience being caused to the common man.
Then, on Thursday, when the PM finally attended Rajya Sabha as demanded, he received a surprise lecture by Dr Manmohan Singh who described the "management of demonetisation as monumental failure" that has led to "organised loot and legalised plunder." Finance Minister Arun Jaitley countered his argument by pointing that most black money was generated under Manmohan Singh’s regime.
STORIES THAT INSPIRED US
The 5 Indians on BBC’s list of 2016’s 100 Influential Women!
We’ve heard of only 2 names out of these 5 - Bollywood actress Sunny Leone and Mallika Srinivasan (CEO of tractor manufacturing company TAFE.) The list also includes Gouri Chindarkar (a 20 year old who’s the product of School on the Cloud); Neha Singh (an actor/writer who founded a movement to encourage women to walk the streets in Mumbai to defy harassment) and Saalumarada Thimmakka (a 105 year old environmentalist who planted more than 8,000 trees in 80 years after being ridiculed at for not being able to have children.) Check out the full list of 100 truly inspirational women!
Another win for Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu
She achieved another milestone this week by winning the China Open Super Series title – becoming only the third non-Chinese woman to win the title, India’s Saina Nehwal having won one in in 2014.
In the US, two Indian-origin women are becoming big in politics - Nikki Haley, who was chosen by Donald Trump to become the US Ambassador to the UN and Kamala Harris who became the 1st Indian – American women to be elected into the United States Senate (from the State of California.)
In Australia, 26-year-old lawyer Uppma Virdi was selected as the Businesswoman of the Year at the 2016 for her company called ‘Chai Walli’ that serves quality Indian tea.
TALK THE TALK
A QUOTE TO QUOTE
“Empowering women can be an economic game changer for any country. For instance, If women were to participate in the labour force to the same extent as men, national income could increase by 27% in India”, noted International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde emphasising on how equal pay and better economic opportunities for women could boost economic growth”.
WHAT TO SAY WHEN
What to say when you have to give an example of finding opportunity in adversity
Give the example of Fintech and digital payment companies that have literally been “cashing in” on the cash crunch. Within a span of about 15 days, targeted advertising by companies facilitating cashless transactions using digital wallets attracted millions of sellers and buyers to move to online payments, since cash was scarce. For instance, digital wallet Paytm itself reported that they’re seeing over 7 million transactions worth Rs. 120 crores per day after the November 8th demonetisation drive. In the long run, if most transactions happen digitally, it will lead to greater transparency and less scope for corruption.
What to ask a cricket enthusiast
His opinion about the future of India’s new “spin twins”, off-spinners R. Ashwin and debutant Jayant Yadav. They jointly took 14 of the 20 English wickets in the 2nd India-England test match that India won by 246 runs.
What to ask your friend who invests in the stock markets?
Is this a good time to buy shares, since the share market is seeing a falling trend? Both the BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty have slumped. The “bear market” has largely been caused by the uncertainty in business environment due to the recent currency demonetisation. In addition, markets have reacted negatively to the aggressive selling of Indian stocks by foreign investors, who now prefer the American stock market after Donald Trump’s victory. However, analysts are generally recommending that it may not be prudent to buy shares (that are now cheaper) until businesses adjust to the demonetised currency and sales get back to normal.
What to say when people debate on the effectiveness of the PM's demonetisation move
That the move will be effective in cleaning up black money only if the Government simultaneously takes strict measures to wipe out the root causes of corruption as well. Also, since nearly 95% of black money is held in off-shore accounts, there is need to 'clean up' there as well. For instance, a complementary deal that India signed with Switzerland this week to enable Indian Tax authorities to receive financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Swiss banks from 2018, could help curb black money hoarding in the long run.
What to say to someone who seems to copy you a lot!
You are like Instagram! The photo-sharing app keeps coming out with new features that people feel have already “been there, done that!” In its latest update, Instagram launched a new feature that lets users send disappearing photos and videos – a feature that’s already the USP of rival photo sharing app Snapchat. They’ve also added “livestream video” within the app that allows users to stream a live footage for up to an hour – pretty much what Facebook’s “live video” is about! In fact, 2 months’ back Instagram had launched “Stories” that stitches together multiple posts – ditto to Snapchat. Guess, everyone has everything now – you can use the App where you have maximum friends!
A fun tip to give your colleague who’s moving to a new job
Why not make a video laying down your to-do list for the new assignment? Just like Donald Trump. The newly elected President released a 2 and half minute YouTube video laying out his executive actions that he’ll take on Day-one when he officially joins office in January. There are six points including scrapping regulations on energy production, withdrawing from global trade agreements and investigating all abuses of visa programs.
What to tell your domestic help who’s taking a train journey
Please add rail travel insurance to your ticket. Since September this year, the Indian Railway’s has introduced an optional travel insurance scheme on train e-tickets booked for a premium of just 92 paise per passenger, with a pay-out promise of up to Rs 10 lakhs in case of injury or death due train accidents. However, only 35% passengers seem to use this as of now. In the light of recent train accidents like the derailment of the Indore-Patna Express in Kanpur that’s killed nearly 150, it is necessary that people avail of the travel insurance for the sake of their families.
What to say when someone says she’s too nerdy to find love
Tell her the love story of the two toppers of the UPSC exam (that gets you into the civil services.) 2015’s UPSC topper Tina Dabi and 2nd ranked Athar Aamir Khan recently announced they’re in a relationship! Some people have criticised their marriage plans because she’s a Dalit and he’s Kashmiri Muslim. But we can’t stop imagining what the IQ of their kids would be like!
What to say when your friend says “I forgive you”
Tell her hope she doesn’t think she’s the Pope! Pope Francis has now allowed all Catholic priests to “forgive” women who commit the sin of having an abortion. The message from the Vatican emphasised that “ending an innocent life” continues to remain a “grave sin” but a “repentant” woman can be pardoned.
What to tell someone who seems addicted to Facebook
Maybe you need a few days of “social detox!” Like American “social-media-model Kendall Jenner, who recently deactivated her Instagram account where she has 7 crore followers! Kendall (step-sister of Kim Kardashian) said she needed a respite from social media as “I was always on it. I felt a little too dependent on it”. Sounds like a familiar addiction for many of us, right?!
A NEW BOOK TO READ AND DISCUSS
Twinkle Khanna’s newly released book ‘The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad’? It’s a book on 4 short-stories, the author’s 2nd book after Mrs Funnybones. It has received encouraging reviews, although the author’s witty sarcasm is missing. The longest story in the book is a fictionalised account of the life of a man who invented low-cost sanitary napkin machines.
A NEW WORD TO USE
It was chosen as Oxford dictionary’s word of 2016 after its usage saw a 2000% jump this year.
Post-truth is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
It essentially refers to people believing in information that's based less on fact but more on what appeals to them. and on what they would like to hear. This particularly happens via social media channels – where people have been sharing “fake news” that is taken to be true. Like one news that said ‘the Pope is supporting Donald Trump to be President of America!’
An example of how to use it in a sentence: ‘in this era of post-truth politics, it's easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’
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